5 great company mentoring programme examples
6 MINUTE READ
Starting a new job can be intimidating. You need to quickly adapt to entirely new surroundings and ways of working. And nobody wants to appear as if they don’t know what’s what. But it inevitably takes time to get to grips with day-to-day duties and catch up with coworkers in terms of understanding company priorities.
Having a good mentor can really speed the process up. That’s one reason why more that 70% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programmes. And while there is no one-size-fits-all model, all programmes ultimately provide similar benefits.
Speaking on Venturi’s Voice podcast, Charlotte Morris (CMO at Skinninja), outlined how mentoring helped her find her feet early in her career.
“Mentoring allowed me to ask “stupid” questions without fear. These were questions I didn’t want to ask my peers or managers as I felt I should have known the answers. At the beginning of your career, you’re constantly trying to work things out without “messing it up”. So naturally, a lot of questions crop up in your mind. The problem is, in many businesses there’s very much an attitude of “shut up and get on with it”. There simply isn’t time to take a step back and get clarity on a situation. But when you charge ahead without the right information, problems inevitably arise.
A mentor is there to help you bridge the knowledge gap. For example, sometimes I would come out of a meeting, turn to my mentor and say: “I don’t understand what half of those terms meant”. Having someone there to patiently walk me through what I didn’t understand was a huge help. And it spurred me on to become a mentor myself later in my career.”
So if you want to use mentoring to make life easier for new hires, here are 5 great examples of effective mentoring programmes to take inspiration from.
One of the world’s largest chipmakers take a unique stance when it comes to mentorship. Instead of matching up fresh talent with seasoned veterans, Intel has reinvented the process by matching people based on the skills that are in demand at any given time. Participants must fill out a questionnaire, which then is used to match them with another employee who is well placed to teach them the skills they want to learn. In this way Intel can pass information and insights from one generation to the next, facilitating overall company growth.
Google’s continued success depends upon their ability to attract some of the brightest minds in the world. Their annual global ‘Summer of Code’ programme goes a long way towards helping them achieve this. Each year, student developers are offered bursaries to write code for various open source projects. During the programme students are paired with several different mentors giving them real-world software development experience, along with the chance to earn employment in their areas of interest. To date, over 9,000 students from more than 100 countries have completed the programme, many of whom have gone on to work for Google.
One of the world’s leaders in construction equipment, Caterpillar, run an impressive professional development programme for graduates. During the rotation program, participants create the basic building blocks for technical competence, develop and refine their leadership skills, gain exposure to senior management, and develop long lasting relationships with all of the program mentors. It takes either two or three years to complete the programme depending on the department.
As an organisation, Deloitte are committed to improving diversity. This commitment is reflected in their their Emerging Leaders Development Program. It takes employees from under-represented populations and pairs them with mentors from the senior management level. These mentors agree to commit at least two years to help shape their careers and navigate Deloitte’s professional organisation.
In Boeing’s Rotational Program interns and new employees partner with senior managers and executives to set career goals and plans across business, engineering, HR, and IT departments. After extensive research, Boeing established formal best practices to drive program success across their organisation. Programs operate under strict parameters and defined goals. They even feature orientation sessions where program participants develop the skills necessary to maintain mutually beneficial relationships. This helps the business develop the career, leadership and diversity of skills they need to succeed in a dynamic global workforce.